On November 15th, the last communication between Naval submarine ARA San Juan and civilization occurred. Since then, the submarine has been MIA, with very few signals and absolutely no conclusion of its whereabouts, until November 18th, when a few satellite signals were detected.
The ship contained 44 crew members, and it is hypothesized that the ship lost contact when there was an abrupt power cut on board. However, had the crew been following Naval protocol, the submarine should have risen to the surface. So far, there have been no traces of the submarine, despite far reaching search efforts by an Argentine destroyer and two corvettes. The last place the submarine was heard from was around the south eastern Valdez peninsula.
The satellite signals heard on Saturday may be cries for help, but the 7 signals were technically “failed”, most likely indicating some sort of severe technical malfunction on board. Unfortunately, the odds are stacked against the ARA San Juan, as ocean conditions are not optimal for the search crew to conduct a thorough investigation.
Not unlike the Malaysian airlines case, it seems like it’s quite hard to pinpoint missing vessels under the deep blue. This should indicate that more underwater research should be conducted, so that search and rescue technology can advance at the same rate of state of the art boats, planes, and submarines. The lack of available resources makes the ocean our biggest predator, while also being our biggest ally.